Monday, June 28, 2010

An Interview with Portia Da Costa

Portia da Costa is one of those writers whose work seems effortless. And then you go on her blog and realize that she's human—just like the rest of us. I adore her little asides about "himself" ("18:14 Stomach is better today. Himself suggests fish & chips. Am I ready to get back on the high fat horse?"), and her descriptions of the types of sweets she's eating ("Choc/Yummy: banana, but those Dairy Box are calling"), and the telly she's watching. Aside from several publishers, she and I also share a mutual crush: Vincent d'Onofrio.

Portia's stand-out story in Alison's Wonderland is "Unveiling His Muse." Here, she gives us a little insight into her world:

1) Which fairy tale character would you most like to do and why?

You mean do as in 'do'? ;) I don't know, really. Maybe one of the sidekicks of the various princes. The right hand guys are often more interesting and have a better sense of humour than the actual heroes, and yet they still have good prospects if they're the closest buddies of benevolent royalty.

2) If your fairy godmother or fairy godfather (I’m an equal opportunity fairy employer) waved a magic wand over your head and granted you three wishes, what would you be wearing during your wishing?

Some black ensemble with trousers and a sharp jacket that's expensive but not flash and which makes me look much younger and a lot less podgy.

3) What would you wish for?

World peace. Seriously. And to be a lot less podgy. And younger, but knowing what I know now. And to have real blonde hair. That's four, isn't it? Oh, and to be a lot cleverer than I am. And less greedy! LOL

4) Do you own fairy wings? A little red riding hood? Glass slippers? If yes, please describe. Or send photos!

None of those, but I do have an enchanted miniature vacuum cleaner that Saskia Walker once gave me as a gift.

5) What question would you most like to ask another author in the line-up?

Elspeth Potter, how the devil do you manage to write so well, so short?

6) What would you like to tell readers about your story in Alison’s Wonderland?

My story UNVEILING HIS MUSE is a home made fairy tale, rather than a reworking or reinterpretation of an existing one. I'd rather write a tale of my own, mainly because it's easier than having to reinvent a classic.

7) What fairy tale would you love to tackle in the future?

I probably wouldn't tackle one. I'd just make up another of my own special concoctions. :)

A long time devotee of the ‘happily ever after’ and an unashamed romantic, Portia Da Costa is finally writing for her dream publisher, Harlequin. And it’s only taken her 20 years to get there.

She’s the author of six Spice Briefs to date, the latest being a duo of naughty, light hearted Victorian romps called A GENTLEWOMAN’S PREDICAMENT and A GENTLEWOMAN’S RAVISHMENT. Her big ‘work in progress’ is IN THE FLESH, a bizarre, super-sexy Victorian take on ‘Indecent Proposal’ with a dash of ‘Jane Eyre’ on the side, which will be published in early 2012.

In the meantime she has more Spice Briefs and assorted goodies in the pipeline, including a sweeter romance for Samhain Publishing and a bunch of short stories.

You can read excerpts from her titles at and follow her rather sporadic blog at, although you’ll mostly find her on Twitter at

Comment for a chance to win a fairy muse of your own!